Planning a post-pandemic trip of a lifetime? Four dream vacations, no budget allowed


Want a little luxury in your life? 2022 has been touted as the year of the to-do list explosion. After multiple lockdowns, we’ve never been more eager to live our best travel lives. But what if you really think…or dream of pushing the budget boat. Whether you’re planning on making massive vacation waves or just want to rock out in an armchair, here are four epic getaways guaranteed to deliver memories (and hopefully not Credit Union refunds) to last. a lifetime.

Hotel de Crillon place de la Concorde

Looking for a little je ne sais quoi for your next trip to Paris? Well, enjoying your morning café au lait in one of the most luxurious hotels in Paris should meet most jet-set standards! We’re talking about the exquisite Hôtel de Crillon, an illustrious landmark and five-star dream accommodation overlooking the iconic Place de la Concorde. With interiors designed by the late great Karl Lagerfeld, this plus boujee of bolt holes provides the perfect base from which to enjoy the Parisian art of living, the city’s culture, the arts, shopping, gastronomy or romantic city walks.

The hotel offers 78 deluxe rooms and 46 sumptuous suites, all presented as timeless, legendary and unashamedly elegant. The most epic option of all is to check into one of the hotel’s Grand Apartments to experience the ultimate in old-school luxury. In these sumptuous penthouse properties, you can enjoy an assortment of “so extra” extras, a personal butler, personalized pastries from Boudoir pastry chef Pablo Gicquel, or enjoy a bottle of champagne with a spectacular view of Paris from the two-ton Carrara marble tub. You can even order bespoke floral arrangements in the rooms if you really want to impress your plus one… While you’re in the City of Light, spend your time living your best Emilie life in Paris by visiting some of the filming locations from the Netflix series which is giving the city an extra vogue lately. Stroll along the banks of the Canal Saint-Martin, attend a show at the magnificent Palais Garnier or sip a naughty rosé at the Instagram it-spot that is the café La Maison Rose. Details: rooms falter from around €1600 a night;

Safari in Kenya

Kenya, Masai Mara, Olonana Sanctuary.
Kenya, Masai Mara, Olonana Sanctuary.

An African safari tops the list of must-do trips…add a few luxury upgrades and you’ll experience your all-time dream trip. Luxury safari specialists Abercrombie and Kent offer a number of adventure-inducing tours from across South Africa to the more undiscovered wilderness areas of Botswana. But for the sheer volume of Africa’s epic wildlife, it can be hard to beat Kenya’s teeming savannahs.

The band’s classic eleven-day Kenyan tour takes guests from Nairobi to the Kenyan coast with the wilderness of the country’s mighty grasslands arguably the main event. Highlights include the incredible Lewa Downs in the shadow of Mount Kenya, which is the perfect place to spot wildlife from the Big Five (elephant, lion, leopard, Cape buffalo and rhino) to other species such as the rare black rhinoceros and East African cheetahs. After experiencing the bush, you will then travel to the verdant plains of the beautiful Masai Mara. Here you will have the opportunity to experience the rich culture and traditions of the Maasai people with your days set aside by dawn and dusk game drives in search of wildlife.

During the trip, you’ll take the term glamping to the next level, especially with your stay at the luxurious Sanctuary Olonana, a newly renovated wilderness retreat in the Masai Mara. The riverside oasis features glass-encased suites flooded with glorious light and lavish interiors with opulent marble and slate bathrooms, private terraces and living areas adorned with specially commissioned African art. If that doesn’t sound like the ultimate relaxation, you’ll end your tour relaxing on Kenya’s beautiful coastline!

Details: The 11-night Classic Kenya safari starts from €6,600;

Canadian adventure

Spot the Northern Lights on a Canadian adventure.
Spot the Northern Lights on a Canadian adventure.

Dreaming of a luxury getaway…but with the thrill of an added adventure? Well, the Canadian province of Manitoba is slowly becoming an emerging destination for exclusive adventure tourism. Frontiers North is a sustainability-focused adventure outfitter operating in the beautiful wilderness of Churchill, a quirky border town on the northern border of the province.

One of their most incredible experiences? Their Belugas, Bears and Blooms by Train adventure you’ll join on a two-day guided rail journey from the city of Winnipeg through Manitoba. Once in Churchill, all attention turns to the beluga whale. The rare arctic whales (best known for their smiling faces and singing songs) are abundant in Hudson Bay and every summer thousands of them converge on the southern waters of the bay to breed. You can observe the whales up close either by boat, kayak or stand-up paddle for the more adventurous! Back on dry land, enjoy spectacular summer scenes across the tundra as the landscape bursts with wildflowers as summer willowherb blooms like a carpet of magenta. You might even get a chance to see the first summer polar bears as they begin their migration through the area.

Thinking of a winter getaway? Churchill is also one of the best settlements in the world for viewing the Northern Lights, with the city experiencing Northern Lights activity for up to 300 days a year. The company’s Northern Lights and Aurora Borealis Tour invites you to witness this incredible night sky phenomenon from the tundra while enjoying a fine dining experience at their Dan’s Diner Panorama Restaurant.

Details: The eight-day Beluga, Blooms and Bears by Train tour starts from €3,800 while the Northern Lights adventures start from €4,000 (excluding flights).

Luxury living on the ground

There may be fierce competition, but when it comes to luxury stays, Adare Manor, the 16th century estate in the heart of Limerick, has always been the pinnacle of a luxury Irish stay. Not the least since its exquisite multi-million makeover which took place in 2017 and saw a series of lavish upgrades to the property.

Furnished and decorated in the great styles of the 19th century, the rooms here offer the ultimate in comfort and elegance with rates starting at €550 per night. Beyond the luxury of your room, you can enjoy a host of on-site activities, from archery and private cinema screenings to tasting the hotel spa and the Padel Club focused on the well-being.

Dining takes center stage at Adare Manor with the same exquisite attention to detail enjoyed in all aspects of the culinary offering, from the carefully created menus in the Michelin-starred The Oak Room, to the finest cheeses and wines selected and elegantly served. . Perhaps treat yourself to a neat drink, from Adare Manor’s single cask with the iconic Midleton Very Rare Irish whiskey, to The Gallery’s superlative afternoon tea. You can also enjoy sophisticated picnics on the estate, award-winning cocktails in The Tack Room or laid-back family celebrations in The Carriage House.

Local provenance is also key to your stay, and the hotel’s setting, on nearly 850 acres of lush parkland in the Golden Vale pastures and at the gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way, is reflected in every glass and plate. So much so that Adare Manor’s culinary chef, Loughlin Druhan, took head chef Michael Tweedie and their key kitchen team on a 3,000km road trip across Ireland during the restoration and again just before the pandemic. This foodie road trip was to meet the people who grow, fish and produce the artisan treasure behind the menus here as well as a veritable Eden of produce created on the estate itself, from honey from Adare’s own bees to botanicals and fodder grasses of the soils. Could this be your greatest gourmet getaway ever? Details: B&B rates from €550;


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